COLLIER COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FAQS

What documents does an applicant need to provide when applying for the ERA program?

Click here to download a list of documents that must be provided to apply for the ERA program services.

Applications will be returned to applicant or rejected if all required documents are not submitted.

My landlord will not provide a ledger or W-9. Will you contact my landlord?

Collier County staff will not call or email your landlord. As the applicant, you are required to gather all documentation to support your application.

I need forms.

The following are forms that you may be required to fill out if requested. Once completed, upload them into your file through the portal under the TASK option.

Who can apply?

Individuals and families who have experienced unemployment, reduction of income, significantly increased expenses, or other financial hardship during or due directly or indirectly to the COVID-19 outbreak and need financial assistance paying rent, mortgage, and utility payments. This does not mean an applicant had to have contracted COVID to be eligible.

When can I apply?

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA) began accepting applications at 12 p.m. (noon) on Monday, March 29, 2021.

The Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Act’s American Rescue Plan Assistance Program (ARP) began accepting applications at 12 p.m. (noon) on Thursday, March 17, 2022.

How do I apply?

You can apply online at CollierFLAssistance.com, or by scheduling an appointment at our office located at 13245 Tamiami Trail East, Suite 102, in Naples.  To schedule an in-person appointment, please call 239-450-2114. Please remember to save your password and case number in a secure location. You will need this login information to come back and check your status. Please call 311 if you have any questions. You can always apply at any Collier County Public Library using their equipment, if you do not have access to the internet or a computer in your home.

How is a household defined?

An applicant applies for the household. A household is defined as all persons living under one roof.

Do I have to repay the ERA funds?

No, the ERA assistance does not have to be paid back, however; fund distribution is reported to the IRS for landlords or if paid to tenant directly.

What is the CCAP (Collier County Assistance Program)?

The CCAP programs are providing financial aid to residents of Collier County. Depending on individual circumstances, household applicants may receive assistance two ways: through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA) or Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds under the American Rescue Plan (ARP).

ERA is allotted for those with area median income (AMI) ranging between 0% to 80%. ARP is allotted for renters with AMI between 81% and 140%, as well as homeowners with mortgages and AMIs between 0% and 140%. Both renters and homeowners may receive assistance with arrearage or future mortgage, rent and utility payments. To qualify, households must meet the income AMI range and have a documented mortgage, rent or utility obligation to pay.

The ARP program has a maximum award amount of $25,000. The ERA program does not have a funding cap, but has other stipulations to the length of time assistance will be provided.

All persons that experienced financial hardship since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak and total gross income falls within the limits in the table below are encouraged to apply. If you do not qualify through one funding stream, you may qualify through the other. County staff review eligibility and allocation of funding on a case-by-case basis.

**Please refer to the income chart below.**

HUD release: 4/18/2022
Effective: 4/18/2022
2022 Income Limits and Rent Limits
Florida Housing Finance Corporation
SHIP and HHRP Programs
County (Metro) Percentage
Category
Income Limit by Number of Persons in Household Rent Limit by Number of Bedrooms in Unit
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 0 1 2 3 4 5
Collier County

(Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island MSA)

Median: 98,600

30% 19,850 22,650 25,500 28,300 32,470 37,190 41,910 46,630 Refer to HUD 496 531 637 759 929 1,106
50% 33,050 37,750 42,450 47,150 50,950 54,700 58,500 62,250 66,010 69,782 826 885 1,061 1,226 1,367 1,509
80% 52,850 60,400 67,950 75,450 81,500 87,550 93,600 99,600 105,616 111,651 1,321 1,415 1,698 1,961 2,188 2,415
120% 79,320 90,600 101,880 113,160 122,280 131,280 140,400 149,400 158,424 167,477 1,983 2,124 2,547 2,943 3,282 3,622
140% 92,540 105,700 118,860 132,020 142,660 153,160 163,800 174,300 184,828 195,390 2,313 2,478 2,971 3,433 3,829 4,226

Who may I contact with additional questions?

If you have further questions, please contact our Assistance Center at 239-450-2114.

What can the financial aid be used for?

The funds or grants can be used for mortgage, rent and utility bills, so long as these expenses have not already been paid for by another assistance program (i.e., OUR Florida). Utilities that are a required term of the lease agreement such as water, sewer and trash may also be eligible according to the terms of the lease or rental agreement. Utilities covered by the landlord within the rent are treated as rent.

How far back can past due bills be paid?

ERA:

Arrearage (past due bills) can be paid back to March 13, 2020. You must have been current on your rent, mortgage and/or utility accounts as of March 13, 2020, and there is no maximum dollar amount in the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program. ERA can pay up to 12 months of arrearage.

ARP:

Arrearage (past due bills) can be paid back to March 13, 2020. You must have been current on your rent, mortgage and/or utility accounts as of March 13, 2020. Arrearage and prospective payments are available up to the maximum of $25,000.

Am I required to be behind on my rent, mortgage or utility payments to qualify for these programs?

No. To apply for assistance under the ERA or ARP funds, you do not have to be currently behind on rent to quality.

I reside in subsidized housing. Do I qualify?

ERA: If you reside in subsidized housing, you are encouraged to apply for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA), if your income is at or below 80% AMI. See income chart below. If assistance is awarded, it will only be for the tenant portion of rent and utilities that is not paid by other rental assistance.

ARP: If you reside in subsidized housing, you are encouraged to apply for the American Rescue Plan-Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund Program (ARP), if your income is above 80% AMI. See income chart below. If assistance is awarded, it will only be for the tenant portion of rent and utilities that is not paid by other rental assistance.

HUD release: 4/18/2022
Effective: 4/18/2022
2022 Income Limits and Rent Limits
Florida Housing Finance Corporation
SHIP and HHRP Programs
County (Metro) Percentage
Category
Income Limit by Number of Persons in Household Rent Limit by Number of Bedrooms in Unit
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 0 1 2 3 4 5
Collier County

(Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island MSA)

Median: 98,600

30% 19,850 22,650 25,500 28,300 32,470 37,190 41,910 46,630 Refer to HUD 496 531 637 759 929 1,106
50% 33,050 37,750 42,450 47,150 50,950 54,700 58,500 62,250 66,010 69,782 826 885 1,061 1,226 1,367 1,509
80% 52,850 60,400 67,950 75,450 81,500 87,550 93,600 99,600 105,616 111,651 1,321 1,415 1,698 1,961 2,188 2,415
120% 79,320 90,600 101,880 113,160 122,280 131,280 140,400 149,400 158,424 167,477 1,983 2,124 2,547 2,943 3,282 3,622
140% 92,540 105,700 118,860 132,020 142,660 153,160 163,800 174,300 184,828 195,390 2,313 2,478 2,971 3,433 3,829 4,226

Can I apply over the phone?

No. You must apply thru online application and upload required documentation to determine eligibility for the approval process.

How do I know if I qualify and what documents do I need when I apply?

ERA:

You must prove loss of income, *housing instability or other financial hardship occurred during or due directly or indirectly to the COVID-19 outbreak. Note: This does not mean an applicant had to contract the coronavirus.

Required documentation MUST include the following:

  1. Verification of Unemployment filing since March 1, 2020, if applicable
  2. 2020 or 2021 tax return, signed and dated
  3. A letter from employer verifying a reduction in hours, pay-rate, number of shifts, or business closure, if applicable
  4. Copies of pay stubs before and after COVID-19 outbreak, if applicable
  5. Other supporting documentation that proves your financial hardship, determined case-by-case
  6. Photo ID (government issued) for all persons in the household over the age of 18
  7. US Citizenship for one adult household member
    • Required citizenship documentation may include ONE of the following:

    1. Birth Certificate
    2. Passport
    3. Naturalization Certificate
    4. Social Security Card
    5. Legal Resident Card
  8. Copy of lease
    • Lease must be signed and current and all pages. We cannot accept expired leases. Include all addendums and any extensions.
  9. Rent ledger from landlord, including past due amount, if applicable. We cannot accept a screenshot.
  10. W-9 from landlord
    • Form must include all required information. The county cannot make payment without this completed form.
  11. Property Management Agreement, between landlord and company
  12. Collier County resident
    • Driver’s License or other government issued photo ID
    • If ID has a different address, we need a copy of your utility bill showing your name and current address.
  13. Application must be signed and dated by applicant and co-applicant (if applicable)
  14. Duplication of benefits certification must be signed and dated by applicant and co-applicant (if applicable)
  15. Release of information must be signed and dated by applicant and co-applicant (if applicable)
  16. Other documents that are necessary to process a complete application for assistance, such as housing instability documentation (past due utility bill, eviction notice, code report, inspection report, etc.)

ARP:

You must prove loss of income, *housing instability or other financial hardship occurred during or due directly or indirectly from the COVID-19 outbreak. Note: This does not mean an applicant had to contract the coronavirus.

Required Documentation may include ONE of the following:

  1. Verification of Unemployment filing since March 1, 2020, if applicable
  2. 2020 or 2021 tax return, signed and dated
  3. A letter from employer verifying a reduction in hours, pay-rate, number of shifts, or business closure, if applicable
  4. Copies of pay stubs before and after COVID-19 outbreak, if applicable
  5. Other supporting documentation that proves your financial hardship, determined case-by-case
  6. Photo ID (government issued) for all persons in the household over the age of 18
  7. US Citizenship for one adult household member
    • Required citizenship documentation may include ONE of the following:

    1. Birth Certificate
    2. Passport
    3. Naturalization Certificate
    4. Social Security Card
    5. Legal Resident Card
  8. Mortgage statement including coupon
  9. Collier County resident
    • Driver’s License or other government issued photo ID
    • If ID has a different address, we need a copy of your utility bill showing your name and current
  10. Application must be signed and dated by applicant and co-applicant (if applicable)
  11. Duplication of benefits certification must be signed and dated by applicant and co-applicant (if applicable)
  12. Release of information must be signed and dated by applicant and co-applicant (if applicable)
  13. Other documents that are necessary to process a complete application for assistance, such as housing instability documentation (past due utility bill, eviction notice, code report, inspection report, etc.)

*Housing instability is when one or more individuals within the household demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, which may include (i) a past due utility or rent notice or eviction notice, (ii) unsafe or unhealthy living conditions, or (iii) any other evidence of risk, as determined by the grantee.

What if the household has income, but there are members who do not have income?

In cases whereby the household does have an income, but there are individual household members who do not have an income, the household members without an income will be asked to check off the Self-Attestation Certification checkbox.

Self-Attestation Certification Checkboxes

  • All Adult Household Members with Zero Income, Applicant Certifies that they have Zero Income
  • The Income and Calculated AMI% will show in the Income Portion of the Review/View on all screens
  • These Certifications will Display in the Review and in the View on all screens where Applications are reviewed and/or viewed

Is there priority when applying?

Yes. Households are prioritized:

  • With incomes at or below 50% AMI
  • With one or more members who have been unemployed for more than 90 days, or
  • Have evidence of housing instability/homelessness

Documentation is required to show the percentage of AMI, unemployment length, or proof of housing instability/homelessness.

There are two categories of applications that receive priority during the application process and are described below.

Impacted Households Presumed Eligible:

  • Low-or-moderate income households or communities where income is at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or below 65% of area median income (AMI)​ for Collier County (see income chart below)
  • Households that experienced unemployment​
  • Households that experienced increased food or housing insecurity​
  • Households that qualify for CHIP, childcare subsidies, CCDF or Medicaid​
  • Households that qualify for National Housing Trust Fund – for affordable housing programs ​
  • Any student that lost access to in-person education – services to address lost instructional time in K-12​

300% of 2022 Federal Poverty Guidelines

Household Size Annual Income Limit
1 $40,770
2 $54,930
3 $69,090
4 $83,250
5 $97,410
6 $111,570

Disproportionately Impacted Households Presumed Eligible:

  • Low-income households and communities where income is at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines​ or below 40% of area median income (AMI) for Collier County ​(See ABOVE income chart)
  • Households residing in Qualified Census Tracts (QCTs)
    • CHS staff to verify and attest to address being in QCT
  • Households that qualify for certain federal benefits (i.e., TANF, SNAP, SSI, WIC, Section 8 vouchers, LIHEAP)​
  • Households receiving services provided by Tribal governments​

How is household income defined?

With respect to each household applying for assistance, the county will be using the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) definition of “annual income” in 24 CFR 5.609 and using adjusted gross income as defined for purposes of reporting under Internal Revenue Service Form 1040 series for individual federal annual income tax purposes.

The ARP program will use the Federal Poverty Guidelines and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) definition of “annual income” in 24 CFR 5.609 and using adjusted gross income as defined for purposes of reporting under Internal Revenue Service Form 1040 series for individual federal annual income tax purposes.

How will the program determine my income for eligibility?

A) ERA income eligibility guidelines are determined as follows:

  1. Methods for Income Determination: Income eligibility will be determined by either (i) the household’s total income for calendar year 2021. A household’s monthly income to determine eligibility, will include a review of the monthly income information provided at the time of application and extrapolate over a 12-month period to determine whether household income exceeds 80% of area median income. For example, if the applicant provides income information for two months, the county will multiply it by six to determine the annual amount. If a household qualifies based on monthly income, the grantee must redetermine the household income eligibility every three months for the duration of assistance.
  2. Documentation of Income Determination: Household income must also include documentation available to support the determination of income, such as paystubs, W-2s or other wage statements, tax filings, bank statements demonstrating regular income, or an attestation from an employer.
  3. Categorical Eligibility:
    • ERA1: If an applicant’s household income has been verified to be at or below 80% of the area median income and financial hardship demonstrated during the COVID outbreak or
    • ERA2: If an applicant’s household demonstrated financial hardship directly or indirectly by the COVID outbreak and income has been verified as a low-income family as defined in section 3(b) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437a(b)) in connection with another local, state, or federal government assistance program, the county shall rely on a determination letter from the government agency that verified the applicant’s household income or status as a low-income family, provided that the determination for such program was made on or after January 1, 2020.
  4. Written Attestation without Further Documentation: To the extent that a household’s income, or a portion thereof, is not verifiable due to the impact of COVID-19 (for example, because a place of employment has closed) or has been received in cash, or if the household has no qualifying income, the county, at its discretion, may accept a written attestation from the applicant regarding household income. If such a written attestation without further documentation is relied on, the applicants household income for such household every three months. Self-attestations may only be used for ERA applications.

B) The ARP income eligibility guidelines are determined as follows:

  1. Methods for Income Determination: Income eligibility will be determined by either (i) the household’s total income for calendar year 2021. A household’s monthly income to determine eligibility, will include a review of the monthly income information provided at the time of application and extrapolate over a 12-month period to determine whether household income exceeds 140% of area median income. For example, if the applicant provides income information for two months, the county will multiply it by six to determine the annual amount. If a household qualifies based on monthly income, the grantee must redetermine the household income eligibility every three months for the duration of assistance.
  2. Documentation of Income Determination: Household income must also include documentation available to support the determination of income, such as paystubs, W-2s or other wage statements, tax filings, bank statements demonstrating regular income, or an attestation from an employer.
  3. Assistance to Households Impacted or Disproportionately Impacted Households and Communities: US Treasury’s final rule presumes that certain populations were impacted and disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and are therefore eligible for services that are responding to the negative economic impacts of the pandemic.

What is the definition of Area Median Income?

The area median income (AMI) for a household is the same as the income limits for families published in accordance with 42 U.S.C. 1437a(b)(2), available under the heading for “Access Individual Median Family Income Areas”. This information is available at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/il.html. It is the midpoint of a region’s income distribution – half of families in a region earn more than the median and half earn less than the median.

Do I have to live in my rental unit for a set amount of time to be eligible?

No. Payments are provided to help households meet housing costs that they are unable to meet during or directly or indirectly related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Is documentation information a matter of public record?

Yes. If public record requests are made regarding the CCAP (ERA or ARP), your application and documentation information will be subject to the public record process.

How long is the application review process?

The review process will take as long as necessary to review all documents. Incomplete applications will take significantly longer. Processing could take up to 120 days. However, if all documents are received in a timely manner, the processing days could be significantly less.

When will assistance be distributed?

Assistance requests will be processed as quickly as possible. Due to the widespread impact of the pandemic on our local community, we anticipate a high volume of requests. Payments will be disbursed as soon as possible.

Am I required to have a lease to be eligible for the program?

If a household does not have a signed lease, you may qualify if you can provide documentation of residence OR proof of a rental obligation. This may include evidence of paying utilities for the residential unit, an attestation by a landlord who can be identified as the verified owner or management agent of the unit.

The Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program provides relief for “other expenses related to housing incurred.” What are these “other expenses”?

Such expenses include relocation expenses and rental fees (if a household has been temporarily or permanently displaced during or indirectly or directly related to the COVID-19 outbreak); reasonable accrued late fees; and internet service provided to the rental unit. Internet service provided to a residence is related to housing and is in many cases a vital service that allows renters to engage in distance learning, telework, and telemedicine and obtain government services.

All payments for housing-related expenses must be supported by documented evidence such as a bill, invoice, or evidence of payment to the provider of the service.

How will assistance be distributed?

ERA: Once your application is approved, payment will be made directly to the utility and/or or landlord. The Neighborly online portal, used for the Emergency Rental Assistance program, will show the status of your application.

ARP: Once your application is approved, payment will be made directly to the utility and mortgage company or landlord. The ARP online portal can be accessed here: Login (force.com). You will be notified of the status of your application via email.

Is there a maximum amount of assistance available per applicant?

There is no maximum assistance amount for ERA.  There is, however, a maximum length of time. ERA tier 1 assistance can be provided for up to 12 months in arrearages, with an additional three months based on funding availability. ERA tier 2 can provide relief for up to 18 months including any arrearages and combined with any assistance provided through ERA 1, if applicable. Determining which funding stream provides relief to applicants is determined by county staff on a case-by-case basis.

The ARP program is a different funding stream from ERA and is limited to $25,000 per household. This will allow us to help more residents as the income requirements differ from that of ERA 1 and ERA 2.

Why wasn’t I approved or selected for a grant (assistance)?

In most cases, after a careful review of an application, we were unable to help because either the applicant did not meet mandatory eligibility requirements, or the application lacked information and/or appropriate documentation deemed necessary to confirm the applicant met all eligibility requirements was not provided.

What should I do if I received a notice that I was not approved or selected?

If you are denied assistance under the ERA or ARP program, you have the right to appeal this decision. You may send a written request for an appeal to: luciano@colliercountyfl.gov.

I received communication that my application is still under review but is missing a piece of information. Is this valid and do I need to submit documentation?

Based on the review of your application, you have currently not been approved for funding because your application is missing information. As a result, you have been identified as an applicant who will be provided with a limited time to provide the missing information, or, in some instances, it will be an item your landlord needs to provide.  If you fail to respond within the time provided, your case will be denied.

Who can I contact if I have problems applying or have a question?

Staff from Collier County 311 are happy to assist you. Text or call 311 for more help. Please do not call to check on the status of your request as this will slow down our process of approving and distributing assistance. To check on the status of your ERA application click here. To check on the status of your ARP application, click here. You may also visit our assistance center by appointment only located at 13245 Tamiami Trail Suite 102 (Naples). Please call the Assistance Center at 239-450-2114 to setup an appointment Monday through Friday.

Will receiving this assistance disqualify me from other types of state or federal aid (i.e. unemployment) or OUR Florida?

No. You can still be eligible to receive unemployment or Federal stimulus funding. Please contact other funding agencies on eligibility for their programs.

However, we cannot duplicate benefits and OUR Florida is providing the same program funds under the Emergency Rental Assistance program. If you have applied for benefits under OUR Florida, please do not apply under our ERA program unless you have been deemed ineligible or have reached the maximum amount of assistance under their program guidelines.

If my application is denied, may I re-apply?

Yes. You may re-apply. However, if your application is denied and you met all eligibility criteria, it is most likely your application is not complete, and you will be notified to submit the information required for completion.

Can part-time residents apply for assistance?

Applicants must be full-time Collier County residents.

Can rent payments be made to roommates?

Yes. This only applies to the ERA program. If the applicant is not named on the lease agreement, but has a rent sharing agreement with the lessee and has proof he/she lives at the subject property, the county can make direct payments to the lessee on behalf of the applicant. The lessee and the applicant must execute a roommate certification. The lessee must provide a copy of the lease agreement in their name. The subject property cannot be a homesteaded property.

Can rent payments be made directly to tenants?

Yes. This only applies to ERA. In these circumstances where a landlord is unwilling to participate in the program or provide documentation, the county may, at its discretion issue rental assistance directly to the tenant. If permitted, you are required to acknowledge use of funds for rent only and provide a certification of your understanding. Should you need assistance for additional months, a rent ledger showing applied payment must be provided to receive additional assistance.

Can payments be made to landlords after the tenant no longer resides in the unit due to owing back rent if qualified?

Yes. To remove barriers a household may face in accessing new housing, avoid further collection efforts and credit damage, as well as limit the financial burden on landlords, the county may, at the tenant’s request, provide assistance for rental or utility arrears after the eligible tenant has vacated a unit. If the account has been turned over for collection, the county may require the landlord or utility provider to notify the tenant and collection agency that payment has been received and that there will be no further collection efforts. This only applies to ERA assistance.

If I applied or received a forbearance with my mortgage lender, can I apply for assistance?

Yes. You can apply for assistance. Awarding a grant will depend on individual circumstances as described below.

  • Mortgage statements must show a balance due and a due date within the next 30 days. In the example below, the total amount due to bring the account current is $1,894.53. Although the “Amount Due” at the top of the statement indicates $0.00, the amount due to bring the account current may be paid, because this is essentially a past due balance. We may need to get additional clarification from the applicant if the statement is unclear.

sample mortgage statement

How is the ARP funded?

Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP), which was signed into law on March 11, 2021. Collier County entered into an agreement with the United States Treasury Department (Treasury) for a grant to execute and implement ARP, pursuant to the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLRF), Section 603 (c) of the Social Security Act.

Is funding first-come, first-served?

Funding is allocated on a first-come, first-qualified basis to those who meet the eligibility criteria and submit completed documents for approval. Financial assistance will be given to qualified applicants until relief funds are exhausted. Priority will be given to those at 50% average median income (AMI) and below.

HUD release: 4/18/2022
Effective: 4/18/2022
2022 Income Limits and Rent Limits
Florida Housing Finance Corporation
SHIP and HHRP Programs
County (Metro) Percentage
Category
Income Limit by Number of Persons in Household Rent Limit by Number of Bedrooms in Unit
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 0 1 2 3 4 5
Collier County

(Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island MSA)

Median: 98,600

30% 19,850 22,650 25,500 28,300 32,470 37,190 41,910 46,630 Refer to HUD 496 531 637 759 929 1,106
50% 33,050 37,750 42,450 47,150 50,950 54,700 58,500 62,250 66,010 69,782 826 885 1,061 1,226 1,367 1,509
80% 52,850 60,400 67,950 75,450 81,500 87,550 93,600 99,600 105,616 111,651 1,321 1,415 1,698 1,961 2,188 2,415
120% 79,320 90,600 101,880 113,160 122,280 131,280 140,400 149,400 158,424 167,477 1,983 2,124 2,547 2,943 3,282 3,622
140% 92,540 105,700 118,860 132,020 142,660 153,160 163,800 174,300 184,828 195,390 2,313 2,478 2,971 3,433 3,829 4,226

My landlord is an individual, private person, not a business. Do I qualify?

You may qualify if you rent from a private landlord, if you have a signed lease or rental obligation. The lease must be a legally binding contract between the tenant and the landlord that details the rights and responsibilities of each party. A lease or rental obligation typically includes the cost of the rental, the amount of deposit required, when rent is due, whether pets are allowed, and other rules or requirements under said agreement.

My landlord is not to whom I pay my rent, or I have a property management company. What do I need?

You must provide a current signed copy of the property management agreement between your landlord and the property management company.

I rent a single room occupancy unit and the property is not homesteaded. Do I qualify?

You may qualify if your housing meets the definition of a SRO: a residential property that includes multiple single room dwelling units. Each unit is for occupancy by a single eligible individual. The unit need not, but may, contain food preparation or sanitary facilities, or both.

I rent a room in the house of a private person and the property is homesteaded. Do I qualify?

In this case, you may qualify.

I have an active recoupment with OUR FLORIDA. Do I qualify?

No. You do not qualify until you have resolved all recoupments with OUR FLORIDA as this may be a duplication of benefits. Collier County and OUR FLORIDA may not pay for the same months. Applicants are required to report duplication and any recoupment activities to the Collier County processor.

I have a private mortgage through an individual, not a mortgage company. Do I qualify for assistance?

In this case, you may qualify under the ARP mortgage assistance program. However, immediate family or relations by marriage cannot be the mortgage holder.

I operate a business from my home. Do I qualify for mortgage assistance, if I am past due?

You may qualify if you claim your home on your tax return. In this case, the portion deducted on your tax return will be reduced from the assistance payment requested. To validate the amount eligible, you will need to provide your most recent tax return.

How is the mortgage portion of the ARP program administered?

Those who apply for mortgage assistance will receive a notification after submitting your application. This notice will inform you to contact the Housing, Education and Lending Programs (HELP) for further assistance. HELP is a nonprofit agency collaborating with the county to manage the mortgage portion of the CCAP program. Your mortgage assistance application will be sent to them for processing and payment. To check on your application’s status, please reach out to them at 239-434-2397.

Am I required to participate in financial counseling?

Under the ARP mortgage program, all applicants must participate in financial counseling before any payments will be made.

I do not live in my home but rent it and the renter is late on payments. Does the renter qualify?

The renter (tenant) or the landlord can apply for assistance. Eligibility qualification depends on their circumstances and will need to meet eligibility outlined in above information. However, if the property is homesteaded and you are renting it out, the file will be denied. See “I rent a room in the house of a private person” question above.

Per Florida statutes 196.031 and 196.061, homesteaded properties may not be rented in their entirety or in part, unless there is a completely separate living quarters (apartment, in-law suite, etc.), whether attached to, or detached from the primary home. Any non-shared living space is eligible for rent, and payments should be provided to the landlord. Room rentals where there are shared common areas (kitchens, bathrooms, etc.), are not allowed.

How will I know the status of my application?

You can check the status of your application at any time by going to the application website for ERA or Login (force.com) for ARP. You will need the password used to register as well as your case number. Do not email staff directly as they will not respond. All questions must be submitted through your file in the system. Staff will respond to your inquiry through the online portal system.

What does the status on my file mean?

ERA:

  • Processors: This is your main point of contact. They are reviewing your application for eligibility and all documents. Processors will email you if there are any questions.
  • Reviewer: County staff validating all documents are in the file and the file is complete to move forward.
  • Fiscal: The county’s fiscal staff are validating your file.
  • Management Review: Your file is under its final review with county staff.
  • Approved County: County staff have completed their review and your file has moved to the final stage of the review process.
  • Pending Clerk Payment: Your file is under review for payment with the Clerk of Courts.
  • Clerk Payment: The Clerk of Courts has issued payment to your mortgage company, landlord or utility company.

ARP:

  • Processors: This is your main point of contact. They are reviewing your application for eligibility and all documents. Processors will email you if there are any questions.
  • Grant Coordinator: County staff validating all documents are in the file and the file is complete to move forward.
  • Fiscal: The county’s fiscal staff are validating your file.
  • Grant Management: Your file is under its final review with county staff.
  • Approved: County staff have completed their review and your file has moved to the final stage of the review process.

I previously received assistance through the CollierCARES program. Can I re-apply for more assistance?

If you received assistance through CollierCARES, you may apply for assistance through ARP or ERA. Please visit our website at www.colliercountyhousing.com to access the correct website for your household needs.

When I log into the online application (Neighborly), it says “this email already exists.” What does this mean?

If you receive the message, “This email already exists,” when you try to login to the online application, it means you have previously created an application and will need to set up a new account.

Why does my file say “denied?”

A “denied” file means your file was reviewed and determined that you are not eligible for assistance through CCAP. If you want to file an appeal, please email Donald.Luciano@colliercountyfl.gov.

My name on my ID isn’t the same as I go by now. What do I do?

You will be required to complete a same name affidavit and provide documentation like a birth certificate or divorce decree or official name change showing your name has changed.

My address on my ID doesn’t match my address on the mortgage or lease. What do I do?

You will be required to provide a pay stub, bank account or utility bill showing your name and address as reflected in your lease or mortgage statement.

Can I apply for relocation expenses, like first, last and security deposit?

Yes. The ERA funds will cover relocation expenses, however the total months of service for all rental assistance, regardless of the address cannot exceed 12 months, or 15 months with special consideration for ERA 1 and 18 months for ERA 2. Applicants may be assisted with relocation expenses, which may include deposits, first and last month, application and screening fees. Applicants requesting relocation expenses must meet the eligibility criteria for the program. The eligibility criteria is the same for all ERA funded services, and is listed above. A lease for the new unit is required. The landlord will be required to submit a W-9. If there are other rental arrears or utility payments for another address, that must be a separate application. Applications for relocation expenses must be in its own application separate from any other request for services.

What is the EHEAP program?

The Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program (EHEAP) is available to households who have a delinquent electric bill and an adult 60 years or older who resides in the home. EHEAP can also assist with the repair and replacement of air conditioning to an elderly household who is a homeowner.

Who can Apply?

Any household can apply that has an adult 60 years or older that resides in the home and the electric bill is past due, has a Shut Off Notification or electricity is currently shut off. The delinquent amount is paid directly to the electric utility company.

How do I apply?

You can apply online at CollierFLAssistance.com or at any Collier County Library. At the Library, you can use the computer, scanner, printer/copier equipment that is assigned for public use at no charge to submit an online application. Our Collier County Assistance Center staff is available to help after you have submitted an online application.

The Assistance Center is located at 13245 Tamiami Trail East, Suite 102, in Naples. To schedule an in-person appointment, please call (239) 450-2114. Before you are provided an appointment, you must have submitted an online application through the Neighborly website. Please remember to save your password and case number in a secure location. You will need this login information to come back and check your status.

How far back can bills be paid?

Any past due bills are eligible. ONLY the past due or delinquent amount of the electric bill can be paid. If the service has been disconnected, all delinquent charges and late fees are eligible for payment as well as deposits for reconnection of the electric service.  Returned check fees are not eligible.

Do I qualify if I reside in subsidized housing?

Please read your lease agreement and see if a utility subsidy is provided to you. If you do not receive a subsidy, you may apply for assistance. If you receive a utility subsidy, you may not qualify for assistance.

What documentation do I need?

  • FPL or LCEC Electric Bill
  • Social Security cards for all members in the household
  • State of Florida issued photo ID’s for all adults in the household
  • Proof of Income for all members living in the household-18 years or older
  • Social Security, SNAP or TANF award letters
  • Mortgage or lease agreement

How is household income defined?

We follow the 150% Federal Poverty Limits (FPL) guidelines, but if someone in the household receives Social Security, SNAP or TANF benefits, there are no income guidelines; provided there is a member residing in the household who is 60 years or older.

Is there a maximum amount of assistance?

You may be eligible for assistance for every monthly past due electric bill and/or air conditioner repair/replacement up to $5,000 total per year.

What do I do if my application is not accepted?

You may call 311 for information about other Collier County social services’ agencies that may provide you with past due utility assistance.

Who do I call if I need my air conditioning repaired?

This applies to homeowners only. Please call the Community & Human Services Main number at 239-252-2273 for help.

How do I get a new HVAC if needed?

You must be a homeowner to receive assistance for a new HVAC. The maximum benefit amount is $5,000. Documentation you will need includes:

  • Three air conditioning estimates
  • If the HVAC exceeds $5,000, you will need documentation for how the remaining amount will be paid in full
  • Proof of income for all members living in the household that are 18 years or older
  • Social Security cards for all members in the household
  • State of Florida issued photo ID’s for all adults in the household
  • Social Security, SNAP or TANF award letters
  • Mortgage information
  • Proof of homestead status

FAQs are not intended to include all program rules.